Although 2020 was a tough year, many people took the opportunity to grow their businesses, learn a new skill,  and begin laying the foundation for something even bigger in the future. I saw a lot of that in 2020 as people reached out for coaching on how to get their tech stack dialed in just right, or service-based consulting to help market their business and get more clients.

I saw a common theme among those I worked with starting around May of last year. People were:

  • Starting a side hustle
  • Finally finishing the info product they were working on
  • Becoming an entrepreneur out of desire or necessity
  • Establishing multiple, diversified revenue streams to support their families

This burst of interest and growth in the industry gave rise to my own renewed interest to launch  my info products and begin to productize my business so that I can scale in 2021.

Courses Launched

I decided to launch my first course from Convology in November of 2020 and my second course right at the new year.

A course for beginners and early intermediate users to learn everything they need to successfully use Thrive Architect and build better websites.

The comprehensive course to take you from total beginner to mastering Thrive Apprentice, selling and protecting your courses, and more.

Lessons I learned from launching courses:

  • Give yourself twice as much time as you think you're going to need because courses take a LONG time to produce
  • Don't obsess over length or how much is in your course if you're solving a problem; most people want their problems solved faster anyway.
  • You don't need a complex tech stack and it doesn't have to be perfect! Thrive Apprentice has a long way to go to be where I want my course presentation, but that didn't stop me from seeing success.

Membership Program Started in 2020 - Growing in 2021

I also soft-launched my membership at the same time to coincide with my course release. I was hesitant to launch my membership early without being packed full of front-end value, but I wanted to give people the opportunity to get in at the lowest pricing possible to help them along the way. A big takeaway for me in 2020 was community and having support, so I wanted to start my sooner rather than sitting on it and waiting.

I've already increased the price of Convology Pro once and plan to keep raising the price as the value grows. A big part of Convology pro is the all-access-pass to all of my courses, workshops, and trainings. When Convology Pro launched, I had one course. Now I have two, and by the end of February I'll have three and a couple of workshops. I plan to increase the price again in March.

Lessons I learned from starting a membership:

  • People join for a variety of reasons; I thought they'd want the community but most don't even create their community account and just consume the course content. A VAST majority -- like 10:1. I need to work on my community skills.
  • Existing clients who pay for coaching and on-going consulting still join the membership; Promoting membership to existing clients might actually be a good idea as a value-add.
  • All-Access-Pass was the best thing I did for my membership (clearly if 10x the people want the courses over the community)

My Five-Figure Course Launch

I wasn't sure what to expect when I launched my courses at the end of 2020. I've launched dozens of courses for my clients, and launched a few of my own for other B2C businesses I'm apart of, but never for my own information-based courses based on how to use tools made by another company.

I want to share some numbers with you only to show you what's possible with the tech stack and methods I teach. I work with a lot of clients who regularly beat themselves up about being perfect and wondering if the tech stack is sufficient to sustain a business of selling courses/products/etc. I'm far from perfect, very pleased with what I could put together.

During my November and December course launch I brought in $32,151. I think that could have even been significantly higher, which I'll go over further down in this article. To those hesitating on launching a course: Stop. Don't wait. Get started sooner rather than later!

My Five-Figure Course Tech Stack Blueprint

I had the most fun setting up and connecting my course tech stack. It's what I do for a living, and it's what I love. If you've watched enough of my videos you know that I always emphasize "It just works." That's my mantra. I don't want tools that give me grief. I don't want tools that fail. I want a system that just works.

Note: This blueprint has been updated since my previous post about my course funnel.

The Core of my Tech Stack

ThriveCart  - Hands down the best sales funnel / cart software out there. The connectivity, cart abandonment features, upsells/downsells, bumps... it's the best.

ConvertBox - I'm only scratching the surface right now, but the integrations and segmentation are the best of any tool I've been able to find for leadgen. I'm working Convertbox Quiz Funnels into my next course launch.

Thrive Suite - Access to all of their plugins. This is how I built all of my pages (blogs, sales pages, confirmation pages, course platform itself, course pages, member dashboard, etc.

WishList Member - Central to my tech stack, WLM is like my air traffic controller that everything flows through. My currently setup could not work without it.

What Would Have 10'x my Launch

Although I consider my launch a huge success because it met my own personal goals, I know I could have had more success if I did a better job with a couple of things.

Email Marketing

I didn't utilize my email list. I think I sent out one email to a targeted segment of my list and that's it. I was kind of afraid to ask people come over and buy something that I made. Up until launching my courses, I've only put out free content in the form of blogs and tutorials. I charge for client work and time spent, but the info has always been free. Maybe a bit of imposter syndrome crept in too. 

Now that I have my email marketing tools dialed in with FluentCRM, I think I'm going to work on growing my list more so that future launches can grow. I want to measure the increase that email marketing brings to my launches and report those percentages back to you. 

And to assuage your fears, whether they be of my emails or doing this yourself, I'm working REALLY hard to create very specific, targeted emails. That's something I'm going to teach more in a workshop sometime this year, and something I will continue to practice on my own. I love getting emails that are exactly what I asked for and want to read, and I hate getting emails for things that aren't related to what I need. I want to send emails people love, and I think if I can nail that aspect then I can really grow my business more.

What's Next: Continuing the Productization & Setting Goals

While my coaching and consulting for Thrive Themes and tech stack integrations continues to grow, I only have so many hours in a week that I can work with clients. That means I'm either resigned to never grow, or I have to raise my prices. Since I reached complete capacity in 2020, I've decided that business growth will come from productization.

In 2021 I'm going to work on turning what I know into courses and workshops, as well as live trainings. This will allow me to thoroughly teach a concept once and then scale that teaching infinitely, allowing me to scale back my hours consulting if desired. I will continue to produce tutorials and the same caliber of content for free as I always have because I love helping people, and it's also the best lead-gen tool out there!

My goal for 2021 is to have 50% of my revenue entirely from courses and workshops. That's a huge goal for me, but I'm going to challenge myself to achieve it and share my strategies, processes, and results along the way. 

If you've read this far, you're a superfan. Thanks for making 2020 great, and let's grow the heck out of our websites and businesses in 2021!

    • Hi Robin,

      SEO brought in a lot of sales (because it brings in a lot of traffic to my site) but I think most of my sales came from people who found me on Youtube and being active on Facebook in various groups.

    • Drip email service provider is pretty good. Shouldn’t have any problems with it and ThriveCart. I personally like ConvertKit better than Drip, but that’s preference. They both pretty much do the exact same things.

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